More Greystones Will Fall on Oak Street

70 East Oak Street proposal

70 East Oak Street proposal

Part of the charm of shopping on Oak Street is the way all of the high-end boutiques are squeezed into every available space of the stately greystones that line both sides.

Over the years, those greystones have become fewer and fewer, replaced with buildings that add to, or subtract from, the total look and feel of the area. Now the company that is putting so much money and effort into saving the facade of the historic Esquire Theater (58 East Oak Street) wants to tear down the two greystones next door.

70 East Oak Street

70 East Oak Street

Right now, the house numbers in jeopardy run from 70 to 104, and are the homes to an assortment of retailers like Sarah’s Pastries, and Sofia. Number 70/72 was built in 1884. Number 102/104 in 1891. They’re squeezed together between the 1940 Esquire, and Number 106 which was also built in 1891, but has been so heavily altered that it retains little of its historic character.

If you’re a modernist, the new buildings going in will actually be a welcome sight. Based on renderings from the architect, it appears they will visually unify over 200 linear feet of the the mid-block section.

Here are the details:

  • Developer: 58 E. Oak Street, LLC
  • Site area: 6,367 square feet
  • Floor space: 14,000 square feet
  • Stories: Two.
  • Building height: 42 feet
  • Green roof: Yes.
  • Projected start: Summer, 2012.
  • Projected finish: June, 2013.
  • Second-floor outdoor terrace.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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